SOCAR will increase gas supply to Georgia this winter

The Government of Georgia requested Azerbaijani oil company SOCAR to increase its natural gas supply to Georgia. Photo by SOCAR Georgia Gas/Facebook., 29 Jan 2016 - 16:47, Tbilisi,Georgia

Azerbaijan’s national oil company SOCAR is increasing its natural gas supply to Georgia this winter by at least 50 million cubic meters.

A statement released today by SOCAR revealed the Azerbaijani oil firm had reached an agreement with the Shah Deniz and South Caucasus Pipeline consortiums to revise its seasonal gas limits supplied to Georgia.

The agreement came following a request by the Government of Georgia to increase the amount of natural gas SOCAR supplied to the country, particularly in the winter months when there was a seasonal deficit of natural gas.

Support for Georgia’s request is a sign of good neighbourly relations between Azerbaijan and Georgia and creates a basis for the development of mutually beneficial cooperation in the future,” read the statement released by SOCAR.

In recent months Georgia’s energy challenges have become an active topic of discussion. Last year the country’s Energy Minister announced Georgia’s demand for natural gas over winter might not be satisfied by Azerbaijan, and the country needed to "look for alternative sources of energy”.

In response to these comments, Azerbaijan’s president Ilham Aliyev said Azerbaijan had "enormous deposits of gas”.

Georgia’s Energy Minister further explained the problem was not with Azerbaijan’s gas supply but with the capacity of the two pipelines through which Georgia received gas from Azerbaijan.

At the beginning of January Kaladze hosted director general of SOCAR Energy Georgia, Mahir Mammedov, in Tbilisi to discuss ways to avoid a natural gas supply deficit over the winter months.

Following negotiations with SOCAR, the Georgian side decided to implement several projects with its Azerbaijani partners to address the gas deficit issue.

One project involved constructing an underground natural gas storage facility in Georgia while another project envisaged increasing the existing capacity of SOCAR gas transit and upgrading SOCAR’s natural gas pipelines.

A third project related to the Shah Deniz gas field in the Caspian Sea, offshore from Azerbaijan, that opened Europe for Azerbaijani gas.

Georgia’s Energy Minister explained technically it was impossible to receive extra gas from Azerbaijan this year but after the three above mentioned projects were implemented, Georgia would overcome its winter natural gas supply deficit challenge.

Accordingly, Kaladze started negotiations with Russian energy giant Gazprom and with Iran to fill this winter’s natural gas supply deficit.